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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Kiev Troops, Southeast Ukraine Independence Supporters Swap Captives

RIA Novosti

15:12 25/06/2014

KIEV, June 25 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev-backed forces and independence supporters from southeastern Ukraine have started swapping captives, Ukraine's acting Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval said Wednesday.

"The president of Ukraine has approved a clear plan, in accordance to which certain events are to be held during the ceasefire, including the exchange of captives. Everything goes according to schedule, there have been no disruptions," Koval said in the run-up to a cabinet session, stressing that the number of the exchanged captives is constantly being updated.

On June 20, after a two-month military conflict in the southeast of the country between Kiev-led troops and independence supporters, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko ordered a unilateral ceasefire effective until June 27.

Poroshenko also unveiled a detailed plan to restore peace to the crisis-torn country, including the exchange of captives and amnesty and safe passage for all independence supporters in eastern Ukraine who 'did not commit serious crimes' and agree to lay down their arms and free the seized administrative buildings.

Moscow welcomed the initiative aimed at the peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, but Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that the intentions must now be backed by genuine de-escalation based on a nationwide dialogue.

To foster Kiev's peaceful settlement efforts, President Putin asked the upper chamber of the Russian parliament to revoke the resolution authorizing the use of military troops in Ukraine. Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian legislature complied with the president's request and announced the respective resolution null and void.

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